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Richmond County lags state average on new schools report card

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 9:04 PM
Last updated Wednesday, May 8, 2013 7:24 AM
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Under Georgia’s new accountability system revealed Tuesday, Richmond County schools lagged the state in achievement and Columbia County surpassed state averages for elementary, middle and high school performance.
The College and Career Ready Performance Index replaces the pass/fail Adequate Yearly Progress system used since 2002 with a formula that scores schools on a 100-point scale derived from an array of indicators.

Under the new index, Georgia scored 83.4 percent in elementary, 81.4 percent in middle and 72.6 percent in high schools for the 2011-12 school year. Columbia County earned 91.9 percent in elementary, 90.6 percent in middle and 84.7 percent in high schools; Richmond County scored 66.1, 65.5 and 63 percent, respectively.

Carol Rountree, Rich­mond County’s assistant superintendent of student services, said that although it will take time to adjust to the system, the index gives principals and educators a wider range of data to dissect and improve upon than AYP did.
She said many schools have already assigned staffers to monitor various pieces of the index so schools can make incremental improvements throughout the year.

“Yes, there is area for improvement,” Rountree said. “We would love to score at or above the state averages, but we also needed to know where we stood using this new measure before we can capitalize on all of our resources to make progress.”

Because the 2011-12 results released Tuesday are the first scores under the index and are vastly different from AYP, they are considered baseline data and can not be compared to past years, according to Georgia Superintendent John Barge.

“With AYP you either passed or you didn’t,” Barge said in a news conference Tuesday. “That was a very wide range, and this paints a clearer picture of where schools are in that range.”

Schools either met or failed benchmarks under AYP, but the index calculates a score made up of points from three categories: 70 points for achievement, 15 for progress and 15 for how well schools closed achievement gaps.

The index also offers up to 10 additional “challenge points,” given to schools having a significant number of economically disadvantaged students, English-language learners, or students with disabilities who are meeting expectations.

Under the achievement category, schools are given points on up to 19 indicators such as standardized test results, career awareness, attendance and graduation predictors.

Besides Richmond Coun­ty’s two magnet high schools, which scored near 100 percent, Cross Creek earned the highest score among high schools, 64.5 percent. Glenn Hills showed the lowest score, 50.5 percent.

C.T. Walker Traditional Magnet School led the district in elementary and middle grades with 92.8 percent and 91.7 percent, respectively. Freedom Park School had the second-highest score in elementary grades, 87.5 percent, and second-highest score for middle schools, 76.1 percent. Meadowbrook Elementary had the lowest elementary level score, 49.8 percent, and Collins K-8 had the lowest middle school score, 52.6 percent.

In Columbia County, 14 of the 31 schools scored in the 90 percent range, and none scored lower than Harlem High’s 74.8 percent.

Columbia County Deputy Superintendent Sandra Carraway said she was proud to see her schools score above the state averages but realized there is still progress needed.

Though the breakdown of a school’s index score is difficult to translate, it provides insight into specific areas that schools need to improve. Grovetown Middle School, for example, earned 81.3 percent, a celebrated score, but is still recognized by the state as a Focus School, meaning there is a large gap between the highest- and lowest-performing students.

Carraway said that shows a need for administrators to constantly improve on individual indicators and not just the final score.

Columbia County administrators are re-examining their scheduling habits now that they are being judged by a new measurement. Since the index awards points for the number of students who take and pass four core subjects, the district lost points because it doesn’t require ninth-graders to take a history course.

“These scores send amessage to our public, and we want these scores to keep our community proud and keep confident that their schools are doing well,” Carraway said. Still, educators said they viewed the College and Career Ready Performance Index as a more inclusive way to judge progress.

Georgia created the index after it became one of 10 states granted a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act in 2012.

Before, schools and districts either met AYP or they did not, which critics said threw schools in unfair failing categories. High-achieving schools could miss AYP if just a handful of students from one subgroup did not pass state tests or missed a certain number of days.

Barge said it will take time to determine how much progress should be expected from schools every year because there are no benchmarks built into the index.

The state expects to release 2012-13 index results in the fall, which will give educators their first opportunity to compare progress from one year to the next.

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/07/13 - 09:32 pm
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Lots of room for improvement

"Columbia County earned 91.9 percent in elementary, 90.6 percent in middle and 84.7 percent in high schools while Richmond County scored 66.1, 65.5 and 63 percent respectively."

Lots of room for improvement everywhere.

class1
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class1 05/07/13 - 09:38 pm
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Discipline

Richmond County can fix the problem if they choose to fix the discipline problem.

nocnoc
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nocnoc 05/08/13 - 06:46 am
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Why is it when it is Good School news

the headline reads "AUGUSTA......",
but when it is Bad news the headline reads "RICHMOND CO....."

BTW: Last week I was mistakenly informed by a AC Reporter, that that AC considers ARC the "Augusta City Limits" which it is NOT.
Because were have 2 other cities within Richmond Co. and more coming soon if the South Side gets a district by district vote on the subject as permitted law.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 05/08/13 - 11:27 am
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DIXIEMAN SEZ...

...this is news?
Quel suprise! Richmond County schools suck academically.

lifelongresident
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lifelongresident 05/08/13 - 07:55 am
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all tghatg is needed is to

Unpublished

all tghatg is needed is to tie "gubiment welfare and foo stamps" to academic performance and discipline as well as mandate all how receive any type of "gubiment" assistance to volunteer at the schools and on the school's end start expelling all disruptive, violent, disrespectful, and c hildren who very little if any interest to learn, listen, or follow the rules you will see an immediate transformation in the scores....actually its time for augusta to get out of the public/government housing business entirely there are other place welfare brood mares and leeches, moochers, and parasites can move to and live "off da gubiment fo free"

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/08/13 - 08:03 am
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Woebegone

I again remind everyone that when you take a list of numbers and average them, you have to have some of the numbers above the average and you have to have some numbers below the average. That's what averaging is all about. So, I echo Dixieman's question above.

mosovich
711
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mosovich 05/08/13 - 08:49 am
0
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So..

So, the best HS in Richmond Cty other than the magnet schools is still worse than the worst school in Columbia Cty? Yeah, a lot of room for improvement..

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/08/13 - 09:00 am
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Predictive

Okay, the schools are given points for certain indicators, and the story says one of the indicators is graduation predictors. What in the world is that?

Riverman1
70696
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Riverman1 05/08/13 - 09:23 am
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Maybe "graduation predictors"

Maybe "graduation predictors" are simply past graduation rates?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/08/13 - 10:55 am
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Job

That's a job I'd like to have, RM — predicting the past.

DawgnSC69
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DawgnSC69 05/08/13 - 11:44 am
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I know a solution, why don't

I know a solution, why don't they start averaging in the private schools in Richmond County into the equation? That should pull the numbers up some.

See what I'm getting at? It's the parents who should be the blame but you never hear anyone directing the blame in that direction.

Riverman1
70696
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Riverman1 05/08/13 - 11:50 am
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DawgnSC, I've thought that

DawgnSC, I've thought that before, too. We have a great educational system in Richmond County...the private schools. If we only knew the facts about them. Most of their students get in great colleges and do very well. A parent of one who got in Harvard is a friend of mine.

LL...ha.

Little Lamb
40206
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Little Lamb 05/08/13 - 11:55 am
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Standardized Tests

Come on, let's face it, the teachers know which students are likely to do poorly on the big standardized tests at the ends of the semesters. If they want to get the test scores up they could hold disciplinary tribunals on the days before the tests and expel the poor test performers for one day. That way the test score averages go up and the poor performers only miss one day of school (a day of no instruction anyway). It's a win-win.

countyman
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countyman 05/08/13 - 12:38 pm
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Let's keep in mind this is

Let's keep in mind this is only one way of looking at schools. SAT, ACT, and graduation rates are still important.

The new GA graduation rate of Cross Creek/ARC is higher than Harlem, Grovetown.

Let's hear the same comments when Richmond County schools score better in certain areas.

Similar to Westside beating every school in Columbia County except for Greenbrier and Lakeside in ACT and SAT scores over the past few years.

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 05/08/13 - 12:12 pm
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Hide and watch!

Unpublished

Shortly, Richmond county will follow in the footsteps of Clayton and DeKalb counties.

Young Fred
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Young Fred 05/08/13 - 12:16 pm
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"...the story says one of the

"...the story says one of the indicators is graduation predictors. What in the world is that?"

It's a tactic used to artificially inflate points.

countyman
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countyman 05/08/13 - 12:39 pm
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2

The Chronicle always wants to

The Chronicle always wants to compare Richmond vs Columbia(except when Richmond County wins easily), but doesn't want to provide all the details. It's funny because Columbia is not even the second largest county, and Mcduffie/Burke, and now Lincoln are in the metro..

Where are the scores from Mcduffie, Burke, and Lincoln? This paper continues to try and put Columbia next to Richmond. Columbia County is a suburb, and that's why over 30,000 people in the county commute to Richmond for daily employment.

Dixieman.... Freedom Park in Richmond County beat out Baker Place, Euchee Creek, South Columbia, Martinez, North Harlem, etc in Columbia County..

I bet the many of the new resident coming into Fort Gordon are more than likely to live on base now. I also don't understand why Richmond County won't be progressive, and build a new elementary/middle on Grodn Hwy/Jimmie Dyess near Fort Gordon.

MarinerMan
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MarinerMan 05/08/13 - 12:38 pm
1
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Yeah, BUT....

Unpublished

Take away the Charter Schools, which do not exist in Columbia County and the Richmond County score would be even lower. Fulton/DeKalb (Atlanta) are like Richmond. Gwinnett/Forsyth (North of Atlanta) are in line with Columbia County. It was sad to see my county growing up, DeKalb, down in the rankings. The parents have got to put forth a lot more effort than they are right now, for the scores to improve.

MarinerMan
2107
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MarinerMan 05/08/13 - 12:43 pm
0
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You Don't Want to See Scores From McDuffie/Burke

Unpublished

Both are in the mid-seventies -- better than Richmond's 66.

Riverman1
70696
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Riverman1 05/08/13 - 04:06 pm
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Let's Summarize

I understand when we throw out numbers and percentages it’s difficult for some to keep the main points in mind. We also have some using numbers not in the story and without reference. So to keep it simple, let’s summarize:

“Under the new index, Georgia scored 83.4 percent in elementary, 81.4 percent in middle and 72.6 percent in high schools for the 2011-12 school year. Columbia County earned 91.9 percent in elementary, 90.6 percent in middle and 84.7 percent in high schools; Richmond County scored 66.1, 65.5 and 63 percent, respectively.”

“Besides Richmond County’s two magnet high schools, which scored near 100 percent, Cross Creek earned the highest score among high schools, 64.5 percent. Glenn Hills showed the lowest score, 50.5 percent.”

“In Columbia County, 14 of the 31 schools scored in the 90 percent range, and none scored lower than Harlem High’s 74.8 percent.”

showboat
264
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showboat 05/08/13 - 07:36 pm
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These scores are really about

Unpublished

These scores are really about nothing, some kids are good test takers and some are not. westside and ARC will have just as many students go and complete college than some in Columbia County. You never hear about the number of students that drop of college after the first year from CC.

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